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The historic railway vehicles: The Rocket

The historic railway vehicles: The Rocket
photo: Rocket
01 / 01 / 2021

One of the breakthrough railway vehicles was a locomotive called The Rocket. It was a steam locomotive designed by Robert Stephenson from 1829. The locomotive contained a number of new structural elements, which were then considered revolutionary.

The Rocket was a locomotive that had one drive wheelset and another common wheelset. It was powered by a twin steam engine with expansion to wet steam. The locomotive also had a more tubular modern boiler, which was much more efficient and effective for heat transfer between flue gas and water. It was another technological breakthrough, because as standard, the locomotives were equipped only with a flame boiler with one pipe surrounded by water. The Rocket had a cylindrical boiler with 25 copper smoke pipes with a diameter of 75 mm. As a result, the heating surface was increased, the amount of steam increased and the locomotive could offer more power.

Another technological feature of The Rocket were two cylinders rotated 35 ° degrees upwards from a horizontal position. As standard, the locomotives had these cylinders placed side by side horizontally. However, this caused an uneven rocking motion of the locomotive. In 1830, the locomotive cylinders were rebuilt to an inclination of 8 °.

There has also been arguments about who the real designer of the locomotive is. Robert Stephenson's father, George, was mentioned. He designed several locomotives, but none were so constructionaly perfect. His son Robert probably drew from his father's designs and improved the construction even more technically. Another person influenced the design, Henry Booth. It was the treasurer of Liverpool and Manchester Railway who advised Robert to use a multi-tube boiler on the locomotive.

Some quotes are also known about this locomotive. Franco Tanel, for example, said of this revolutionary locomotive: "The rocket was the first truly "modern" locomotive with a tubular boiler and artificial traction." Angus Sinclair said of the locomotive: "Stephenson's Rocket, the first high-speed locomotive."